Sunday, January 28, 2007


Went back to the gym a few times to play with the exercises and concepts in Bill Hartmans shoulder article . This is VERY interesting. I thought I understood scapular/thoracic anatomy and kinesiology pretty well but this clarified a few things in a unique way and helped me visualize the motion of the scapula in 3D.

I spent YEARS pushing the shoulder UP at the top of my overhead positions( handstands and giant swings) in gymnastics. Swithcing to powerlifting with the shoulder thoroughly depressed all the time and then losing my overhead range of motion really messed things up. Oh yeah, and that shoulder dislocation thing too :))

I've been trying to pull my shoulder DOWN to relieve my impingment and now I think its the TAUTNESS of the levator scapula (overstretched) not TIGHTNESS ( too short) that is causing a lot of the problems. My UPWARD rotation of the scapula is weak, not tight.I think,lol.

Anyway by playing with the face rows and,suprisingly enough, the two hand overhead press/shrug I was amazed to see that I can barbell press with two hands again with LESS pain than one kb and that, even more amazingly, my flexibility and mobility in that two hand overhead position is BETTER with the stick and bar than with a single arm. THis is very different than a few months ago.

Did a lot of stick presses fiinding the groove in the mirror with perpindicular forearms and PULLING it down on the negative.THIS pulled my shoulders into the socket correctly and nothing hurt at all. THe shoulder actually articulated correctly.The 15 lb bar was heavy after 10 or so very slow reps but it was right.

I have been thinking about pushups again,interestingly, as I am doing tons of pushing of the floor with my yoga work and downward, upward dogs, etc. as well as the L sits.Willplay with those and the arm bars tomorrow. Don't know what this all means yet but my shoulder feels much better than in has in 36 hours.

Sometimes I think I get injuries or things stop working for me as a big ass kick in the pants sign from the universe to think about what I'm doing( or not) and change course. Trying to listen better all the time.

These are the exercises:

Overhead press with stick/bar upward shrug
Thumbs up lateral/shrug
KB arm bar
Face pulls


Chris said...

Sounds like some ideas for your difficult monday workout?

Royce said...

DUDE, way to go man!!
Really happy for you, still trying to comprehend that article.
I will read it again.

Maybe you'll get to do some real pressing ( pushup, floor press overhead.......gulp uh bench ?? )

Whatever it is dude it'll be cool.

Mark Reifkind said...

thanks man but no, no benching. would love to be able to do pushups, dips and overhead pressing with no pain, that'd rock.
and I had to read that article 5 times and will probably read it another 2 or 3!

and yes chris, this is great for mondays along with my two handed swings.

Royce said...

Dude you get your knee and back all straight, the get your shoulder good and you will be ROCKIN'.

I am really happy for you, couldn't happen to a nicer guy!!

P.S. I would really like to get below 200 and single digit fat %

But at 220 below 20% like 16 or 17 is where I feel the strongest. So I could live with that no problem.

We shall see what will happen this year!!

Franz Snideman said...


that was one of the problems I had with the Paul Chek program was that it enrouraged stretching all the tight tonic muscles prior to a training session. But like you said, often the problem is not tightness, it is WEAKNESS is a particular group of muscles. That is where stuff like joint mobility, band exercises, Z-health can work wonders. Please keep us updated on your progress.

Geoff said...

Rif, glad that article is working for you. The only problem I have is the failure to address the role of the pelvis in shoulder/scapular dysfunction. Gary Gray, PT, calls this area the "peltrunkula." While it is true that one cannot look at the scapula without understanding its glide on the thoracic spine, it is also true that one cannot look at the scapula and its relationship to the thoracic spine without looking at both's relationship to the pelvis. Z-Health takes it even further. When I see you in April, MAKE me put your thru the "deltoid test" to prove this point. A picture's worth 1000 words.

Keep on pluggin away.

Mark Reifkind said...

I agree geoff.everything IS connected to everything.I know my tight ass right side lat is really hindering my overhead flexion and that originates right on the hip.

I have been working on stabilizing my pelvis big time since my hernaition in 2000. that is one of the reasons( kbs the other) that my back is so much more functional these days.

good thing we will ahve some time in april we have a lot to talk about eh?

I still need to stretch the tonic stuff right before I train,esepcially the teres major,lats pecs and brachialis if I am going overhead that workout. If I'm not then just the hammies although it doesnt have to be right before.
THEN I have to strengthen it too, something I never heard from chek. just another rung of the ladder.\

the higher you climb the further you see!